Header Summits

Why Education Must Come Back to Nature

3rd May 2016

By Will Stanton

Guest writer for Wake Up World

“Unless we are willing to encourage our children to reconnect with and appreciate the natural world, we can’t expect them to help protect and care for it.” – David Suzuki

Humanity has lost its connection with the Earth. As a species, we too easily distance ourselves from the war being waged on the environment. Most of us are opposed to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and the oil pollution in our oceans, yet we continue to let it all happen. We care, but we don’t care enough to put a stop to all the madness. Why? Because we have lost touch with nature. Sadly, we do not feel the planet’s hurt. Her cries of protest are falling on deaf ears. For the most part, we have become anaesthetised by modern society and the trappings of economic pragmatism.

Continue Reading – Why Education Must Come Back to Nature

Don’t Ask, Just Plant — Taking Back Our Food Sovereignty with Guerrilla Gardening

1st May 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

During both world wars, Victory Gardens were a staple throughout the United States, found everywhere from private residences to public lands and even the front lawns of city hall. Their purpose was simple: to reduce pressure from the public food supply during times of war. Victory Gardens also carried an unexpected perk, they helped boost morale during uncertain times by empowering gardeners through their contribution of labor and production of sorely needed fresh fruits and vegetables. Incredibly, these seemingly humble vegetable patches produced a staggering 41% of all fruits and vegetables consumed by the nation.

Jump to the present day and our system of food production would be all but unrecognizable to Victory Garden veterans. Instead of food self-sufficiency, we have homeowners persecuted for growing produce on their own property and children who think food comes packaged from the supermarket. Small farms are going bankrupt and being assimilated into industrial corporate farming operations. And when individuals push back against the hijacking of our food supply, they are met with fierce opposition, often stemming from local government.

Continue Reading – Don’t Ask, Just Plant — Taking Back Our Food Sovereignty with Guerrilla Gardening

Genetically Modified Crops: The Trouble Is In The Soil

15th April 2016

By Vanessa Caldarelli

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

One of the most detrimental issues about GM agriculture is the effect it has on our environment, specifically our soil and water. The findings regarding GM in the media, science, and FDA reports are almost solely focused on the ways in which GM affects human health. Whether what causes this negligence is because of deeply ingrained anthropocentrism in our society, or genuine ignorance of the institutions that inform us, the fact is that GM agriculture has extremely damaging affects on the health of this earth.

First, it is important to discuss the arguments for and against GM food production. The field is split in two: one side being the supporters of GM agriculture, the other being the adversaries. Each side has arguments to support their positions backed by scientific data and valid documentation. Continue Reading – Genetically Modified Crops: The Trouble Is In The Soil

Plastic Waste in the Ocean Will Outnumber Fish by 2050

11th April 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

A dump truck full of plastic is unloaded into the sea every minute, and experts say the situation is growing worse, with plastic debris expected to outnumber fish by 2050.

With plastic production currently at a twentyfold increase since 1964, generating 311m tonnes in 2014, a new report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has revealed we are rapidly approaching an environmental catastrophe — especially where the world’s oceans are concerned. This number is expected to double in the next 20 years and almost quadruple by 2050.

New plastics will use 20% of all oil within 35 years, which stands at around 7% today. And, despite the increasing demand, a mere 5% of all plastics are recycled successfully — with 40% ending up in landfills and a third in delicate ecosystems like the ocean. The remainder tends to be burned to generate energy, which has its own environmental impact not only in the pollution this practice generates, but also because it causes more fossil fuels to be used in order to make new plastic products like bags, cups, tubs and consumer devices.

Continue Reading – Plastic Waste in the Ocean Will Outnumber Fish by 2050

When I Dream of a Planet in Recovery…

29th March 2016

By Derrick Jensen B.Sc

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

In the time after, the buffalo come home. At first only a few, shaking snow off their shoulders as they pass from mountain to plain. Big bulls sweep away snowpack from the soft grass beneath; big cows attend to and protect their young. The young themselves delight, like the young everywhere, in the newness of everything they see, smell, taste, touch, and feel.

In the time after, wolves follow the buffalo, as do mallards, gadwalls, blue-winged teal, northern shovelers, northern pintails, redheads, canvasbacks, and tundra swans. Prairie dogs come home, bringing with them the rain, and bringing with them ferrets, foxes, hawks, eagles, snakes, and badgers. With all of these come meadowlarks and red-winged blackbirds. With all of these come the tall and short grasses. With these come the prairies.

Continue Reading – When I Dream of a Planet in Recovery…

Seed Bombs: A Creative (and Fun) Mission to Save the Bees and Butterflies

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

By now most are aware of the dire situation of the honeybee: dwindling numbers, collapsed colonies and dying hives — which endangers not only honey production, but also the food supply. We face a stark reality if bee numbers continue to decline, some foods will become downright impossible to grow — such as almonds, certain berries and apples. Not to mention bees contribute approximately $15 billion to U.S. crop production. If they all but disappear, the economy will be hard hit.

And it’s not just honeybees at risk. Wild pollinators — thousands of breeds of bees, butterflies, moths and birds — are in trouble as well. Some speculate GMOs are the cause of the shrinking numbers, others claim pesticides — especially those of the neonicotinoid and glyphosate class — are at the root of the problem. Many believe it’s a combination of both. While environmental advocacy groups and corporate chemical companies battle it out, grassroots efforts have taken the matter in hand and have cultivated an innovative solution to the issue. One such organization is the Great Seed Bomb.

Continue Reading – Seed Bombs: A Creative (and Fun) Mission to Save the Bees and Butterflies

Primary Water: A Solution to Drought, Famine and Social Unrest?

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

While some regions are breathing a sigh of relief with the arrival of El Niño this year, other areas are still faced with ongoing historic drought without an end in sight. Dry conditions have eased in places like the western United States and the United Kingdom. However, much of the world remains parched and in desperate need of fresh water. Asia, the Indian sub-continent, parts of southern and Northern Africa, Poland, South America — especially Brazil — and New Zealand are some of the hardest hit. Cuba alone is experiencing its worst drought in 115 years, affecting over one million people and severely reducing the rice harvest. Likewise, the North Korean drought is the worst of its kind seen in a century.

For a country like North Korea that is essentially isolated from the rest of the world and exclusively grows its own food, and where famine is a reality in the best of times, unceasing drought is a frightening prospect. But food production isn’t the only area impacted when available fresh water plummets. Reduce water supplies and water-borne diseases increase as well, which has lead to a spike in deaths. Moreover, when access to fresh water becomes endangered, social unrest soon follows. Most would agree that widespread drought is a serious issue with severe consequences.

Continue Reading – Primary Water: A Solution to Drought, Famine and Social Unrest?

Clean and Green — Dutch Company Powers Gadgets and Street Lights with Living Plants

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Could living plants be the future of electricity? If the folks at Plant-e have anything to say about it, the answer is a resounding YES. To prove their point, a project dubbed “Starry Sky” illuminated 300 LED lights in Hembrug, Netherlands — exclusively powered by living plants. Similar to another project about an hour’s drive away, both installations are the first two public applications of the budding technology.

But plant-powered lighting isn’t the only area the company has explored, Wi-Fi hotspots, mobile chargers and rooftop electricity modules are also available. And large-scale tubular systems for commercial use are in the works.

Continue Reading – Clean and Green — Dutch Company Powers Gadgets and Street Lights with Living Plants

Groundbreaking Study Maps the Decline of Wild Bee Communities in the United States

By Christina Lavers

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

By now most of us are aware that the humble bee is not only responsible for creating one of the most natural, health giving, and divinely sweet substances — honey — but also for managing one of the most vital steps in the production of our food crops — pollination. Unfortunately what has contributed to this newfound awareness about bees and the crucial role they play in our food chain, and by extension, their relevance to our survival as a species, is their rapid and initially mysterious decline.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, bees (wild and farmed) play a key role in the production of about 1/3 of all the food we eat, and add 15 billion dollars to the annual value of the country’s food crops. Because the animals we consume are generally fed fodder that comes from crops dependent on honey-bee fertilization, and since even plant based fibres like cotton rely on bees for pollination, the implications are massive.

Continue Reading – Groundbreaking Study Maps the Decline of Wild Bee Communities in the United States

A Green Christmas: Gift Ideas for a Sustainable Holiday Season

18th December 2015

By Jack Adam Weber

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

With the holidays swiftly approaching, we should be seriously considering where to cast our purchase-power votes. Already the pollution factories in China are shifting into high gear to produce the cheap, throw-away goods that first-world cultures have supported for decades. Let’s all band together decrease this mindless addiction and pollution this year, shall we?

With the trillions of dollars spent each year on gift-buying, we owe it to the revolution now afoot — to justice, the protection of the Earth and our collective health on every level — to support our local economies this holiday season.

Here are a few sustainable and creative gift ideas to support the planet and a truer new light for the holidays.

Continue Reading – A Green Christmas: Gift Ideas for a Sustainable Holiday Season

Urban Edible Forests: The Future of Food is Here!

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

“A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

As a scientist, Angelo Eliades of Preston, Australia set out to prove that it isn’t necessary to have acres of land in order to grow enough food to feed a family and share with the community. He decided to use his own small yard to test his theory that growing an urban food forest in tiny spaces is not only doable, but also incredibly productive. Angelo is in good company — communities around the world are increasingly embracing the idea of sustainable public gardens. In a bid to cultivate local, organic food systems that can feed the masses in both good times and those of the more challenging sort, pockets of these community spaces are sprouting up in the most surprising of places.

Continue Reading – Urban Edible Forests: The Future of Food is Here!

Why “Sustainable Development” is a Lie

13th December 2015

By Derrick Jensen B.Sc

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

“Sustainable development” is a claim to virtue, but the word “development” used in this sense is a lie.

The word “develop” means “to grow”, “to progress”, “to become fuller, more advanced”. Some synonyms are “evolution, unfolding, maturation, ripeness”, and some antonyms are “deterioration, disintegration”. But here’s the problem…

A child develops into an adult, a caterpillar develops into a butterfly, a stream harmed by (say) mining might in time develop back into a healthy stream; but a meadow does not “develop” into white-box houses, a bay does not “develop” into an industrial port, a forest does not “develop” into roads and clearings. The reality is that the meadow is destroyed to make the “development.” The bay is destroyed to “develop” it into an industrial port. The forest is destroyed when the “natural resources” are “developed.”

The word “kill” works just as well. The term “development” is just colonialism applied to the natural world.

Continue Reading – Why “Sustainable Development” is a Lie